Founded in April 2011 by Dahlia Dulce and Elektra Cute, this coming April marks three years of operation for Black Hearts Burlesque. “Our very first show was on the rooftop of Joe’s Garage,” says Elektra, reminiscing. “We moved to Hell’s Kitchen for our first Pride show in June 2011 and have had a wonderful relationship with this GLBTQ friendly restaurant ever since!”
Original members of the burlesque troupe were friends and performers with a shared aesthetic. Fiona Flameteaser and Lucy Furr, for example, have been members since day one while others like Mistress Victoria DeVille joined as a guest for Pride 2011 and has since been recruited as an emcee.
It’s not all about the performance for these girls, though. Elektra is an instructor at the Playful Peacock Showgirl Academy, whose courses teach burlesque and cabaret dance techniques while encouraging self-expression and body confidence. “We are passionate about creating and sharing art with our community and creating a world where everyone feels sexy, confident and accepted,” she says.
In addition to Black Hearts’ body-positive message, the dancers are also passionate about Burlesque With a Heart, founded by fellow member Josephine Belle. “For each of our shows, we try to put together a fundraiser that benefits an organization in our community,” says Elektra.
The next beneficiary of Burlesque With A Heart? Save-a-Bull Rescue. This non-profit organization is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and “re-homing” of American Pit Bull Terriers and other bully mixes. “Several of our members are dog owners and lovers,” Elektra says. “We empathize with the misunderstood bully breeds and recognize the importance of Save-a-Bull and the work that they do rescuing these dogs from neglectful households, putting in the work to rehabilitate them and find them forever homes with people that love and respect them.”
Black Hearts’ November performance will also include a silent auction benefiting Save-a-Bull. Typically, Black Hearts auctions offer services and goods from our sponsors, Midwest Makeup Supply and Fox Den Salon, gift certificates from local restaurants and shops, local artwork, burlesque classes with Playful Peacock Showgirl Academy, a photo shoot, goodies from Hell’s Kitchen much more.
Black Hearts Burlesque’s fundraising for Save-a-Bull will culminate with their annual Black Friday show, “We’re All Going to Hell”, held at Hell’s Kitchen. After all of the Black Friday shopping is done, kick up your heels and relax while enjoying this 21+ show. “We know it’s a lot to ask for people to stand in one more line,” says Elektra. “But this one ends with cut rate cocktails, discount drag queens and bargain burlesque beauties! Plus after a wholesome holiday, who doesn’t want to decompress with some debauchery?”
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